Boing Boing 

LEGO Back to the Future DeLorean

NewImage NewImageThe official LEGO DeLorean time machine from Back to the Future goes on sale August 1. The kit, containing Minifigs of Marty McFly and Dr. Emmet “Doc” Brown, is based on a design submitted to LEGO by fan builders Masashi Togami and Minifig Builder Sakuretsu. The two are donating their royalties from the product to the Michael J. Fox Foundation for Parkinson’s Research. LEGO Back to the Future

LEGO Alice in Wonderland

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A beautiful LEGO build of Alice in Wonderland and the White Rabbit, from LEGO DOU Moko's Flickr stream.

Lego prosthetic leg

One of AmputeeOT's followers challenged her to make a prosthetic leg out of Lego. In terms of practicality, it's a bit of a chocolate teapot. But she sure has fun with it, and that's what matters. She notes "Please don't do this yourself, I don't want you to fall and get hurt!"

AmputeeOT: My Legoleg - amputee prosthetic leg made with legos (via Kadrey)

LEGO Star Wars Ewok Village set

LEGO Ewok Village

LEGO announced its Ewok Village, due out September 1. It consists of 1990 pieces including R2-D2 and 16 minifigures: Luke Skywalker, Princess Leia, Han Solo, Chewbacca, C-3PO, 2 Rebel soldiers, 5 Ewoks, 2 Scout Troopers, and 2 Stormtroopers. Join in the celebration below!

Read the rest

LEGO Star Trek Into Darkness trailer

(Spoken in the voice of Don LaFontaine): You may have seen the Star Trek Into Darkness trailer, but have you seen it... in LEGO!? Directed by Antonio Toscano and Andrea Toscano.

Amazing LEGO insects and arthropods

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NewImageSean and Steph Mayo created an exquisite series of LEGO bugs for the "Creepy Crawly" category in the 2013 MocAthalon building competition. See them all in this Flickr set. (Thanks, Jake Dunagan!)

LEGO Macintosh model

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Exquisite LEGO model of the original Apple Macintosh by Chris McVeigh, aka powerpig on Flickr.

Attack of the miniature lego squid

Evan B.'s been a Lego hobbyist since 1998 and reports winning numerous contests for his incredible work. His flickr photostream is full of minifig marvels; you can buy his book, How to build Forklifts using Lego Bricks, for just a couple of bucks. [via Super Punch]

Amazing custom LEGO kit as client gift

Graphic/package designers Ron & Ryan Clark of Invisible Creature created a marvelous holiday gift for their six best clients: a custom LEGO set. Sure beats a fruit basket!

Edition of 6 sets. 444 pieces. 4 instruction booklets. 8 different mouth combinations – and a hinged top that allows the owner to store all kinds of fun items (as shown below). We even found 2 extremely cute kids from 1972 in my house that wanted to participate in the box design
Eye Creature

Tiny holiday scenes starring Star Wars advent calendar minifigures

wookie needs a tree. Photo: J5K.

Boing Boing reader J5K of Helsinki, Finland picked up a LEGO 2012 Star Wars Advent Calendar 9509, and has been setting up and photographing cute little holiday scenes with the minifigs. He shared some in the Boing Boing Flickr pool, and you can view them all here.

at-at walker, Star Wars Advent Calendar - Day 10. Photo: J5K.

Halo 4: custom LEGO minifig

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In celebration of the Halo 4 release today, my nephew Andy Pescovitz completed his Spartan Warrior-4 custom LEGO minifig. See more of Andy's insanely-intricate custom LEGO characters from Gears of War, Modern Warfare 2, Max Payne, and other videogames at his pescovam Flickr stream.

Unofficial LEGO Technic Builder's Guide

Here are some examples of projects from the Unofficial Lego Technic Builder's Guide. I'm surprised by the complexity of the vehicles and robots that you can build with these components. (And how could anyone resist the far-out soundtrack that accompanies the trailer?)

Custom Star Wars LEGO for charity

Starwarrrrrr

Legohaulic made these wonderful custom LEGO Star Wars characters for Creations For Charity (site currently down), which raises money to buy LEGO sets for disadvantaged children.

Amazing build of the Batcave using Lego


Our friends at Laughing Squid have lots of photos of this great Lego build of the Batcave. I like the dramatic lighting. Incredible LEGO Batcave Built Out of Over 20,000 Pieces

Time-lapse of 12-foot Lego vampire build


[Video Link] Fiona Chan says:

NewImageLast night, LEGO kicked off the countdown to the Halloween season by inviting the New Orleans community to build a 12-foot tall LEGO vampire by the light of the full moon in the company’s first ever all night build. Set against the backdrop of Jackson Square and the St. Louis Cathedral, they built spooky Lego Lord Vampyre -- based on the lead villain from the new Monster Fighters line.

Robotic Lego ball contraption to beat them all

Akiyuky on YouTube has uploaded a 7 minuted video overview of her or his astounding Lego Ball Contraption, a robotic rube goldberg device in 17 modules, each more fiendishly clever than the last. The accompanying blog (in Japanese) has lots more detail. But honestly, you can just sit agog for seven glorious minutes and soak it all up without having to try and parse out Google Translate's rendition of Akiyuky's explanation.

LEGO TECHNICからくり部屋 (Thanks, Fipi Lele!)

Supercomputer built from Raspberry Pis and Lego


A team of computer scientists at the University of Southampton in the UK created a supercomputer out of 64 Raspberry Pi matchbox Linux-on-a-chip computers and Lego. The team included six year old James Cox, the son of project lead Professor Simon Cox, "who provided specialist support on Lego and system testing."

Here's a PDF with instructions for making your own Raspberry Pi/Lego supercomputer.

Professor Cox comments: “As soon as we were able to source sufficient Raspberry Pi computers we wanted to see if it was possible to link them together into a supercomputer. We installed and built all of the necessary software on the Pi starting from a standard Debian Wheezy system image and we have published a guide so you can build your own supercomputer.”

The racking was built using Lego with a design developed by Simon and James, who has also been testing the Raspberry Pi by programming it using free computer programming software Python and Scratch over the summer. The machine, named “Iridis-Pi” after the University’s Iridis supercomputer, runs off a single 13 Amp mains socket and uses MPI (Message Passing Interface) to communicate between nodes using Ethernet. The whole system cost under £2,500 (excluding switches) and has a total of 64 processors and 1Tb of memory (16Gb SD cards for each Raspberry Pi). Professor Cox uses the free plug-in ‘Python Tools for Visual Studio’ to develop code for the Raspberry Pi.

Professor Cox adds: “The first test we ran – well obviously we calculated Pi on the Raspberry Pi using MPI, which is a well-known first test for any new supercomputer.”

Engineers Build Supercomputer Using Raspberry Pi, Lego [Parity News]

Southampton engineers a Raspberry Pi Supercomputer [Press release]

(Images: Simon J Cox 2012)

Lego's massive Haunted House set

Drew sez, "Lego has released a Haunted House set with vampire figures, zombie chef, Frankenstein butler, and glow in the dark ghosts. It's not a traditional Lego set as it's made to look in a state of disrepair with cracked windows, crumbling foundation and broken shutters. 2000 pieces make it a substantial build intended for older, more advanced builders."

Above is Jason Forthofer Brick Show review of the 2000+ piece set.

Lego Monster Fighter Haunted House (Thanks, Drew!)

How many Legos are needed to build your house?

Lego house
Movoto created a fun calculator that figures out how many Legos it would take to build your house.

Lego Turing machine

Some more wonderments in honor of the Alan Turing centenary: Jeroen van den Bos and Davy Landman from the Centrum Wiskunde & Informatica in Amsterdam have created a working Turing machine out of Lego. It is both inspired and an inspiration:

Our LEGO Turing machine uses a tape based on a classic interpretation of computer memory: switches. Additionally, it uses a light sensor to determine the value of a switch: if the switch is on, the sensor will see the black colour of the switch's surface. But if it is turned off, the sensor will see the white colour of the LEGO beam, making it possible to distinguish between the states. Finally, a rotating beam mounted above the tape can flip the switch in both directions.

Alan Turing's original model has an infinite tape, but LEGO had a slight problem supplying infinite bricks. So we chose to fix our tape size to 32 positions.

A Turing Machine built using LEGO In honor of the Alan Turing year 2012

Lego Mystery Box redux


[Video Link] Todd Wilder has made a smaller version of the Lego Mystery Box (which I posted about in February). To open it, you have to pull on pieces in a specific order.

He's hoping to get enough votes at Cuusoo that Lego will sell it as a kit.

Mystery Box (Cuusoo Project)

MC Escher's "Relativity" recreated in Star Wars Lego, with many in-jokes and grace-notes


Paul Vermeesch, a Lego jedi, created this loving tribute to MC Escher's Relativity, with innumerable grace-notes and sly in-jokes. It's living proof of the progress of Lego: ten years ago, I blogged Lego/Escher mashups of much less ambition.

Six months in the making, I present my largest creation to date: a 1x1x1 foot model of M.C. Escher's print "Relativity" reenacted in the Lego Star Wars theme. A far larger, cleaner, and more detailed rehashing of my 2010 version, this diorama is fully lit from the inside, presents the original Star Wars trilogy in a roughly counterclockwise format, and even features a minifig-scale theatre in the back which plays Lego's CG version of the Star Wars saga. Enjoy!

I attempted to stay as true as possible to the geometry and proportions of Esher's work, while bringing in the colors, worlds, and characters of Star Wars, and the freshness of the Lego medium. Unlike my first version of this concept, this diorama was not built solely for the finished replication photograph. This diorama has many details and scenes not completely visible in the finished picture. Take a look at some of these scenes and details below!

Star Wars Relativity V2 (Thanks, Phoebe!)

MST3K robots in Lego

From 2009, an unsourced, but delightful re-creation of MST3K's Crow T Robot and Tom Servo, executed in Lego.

LEGO Crow and Tom Servo. (via Wil Wheaton)

Update: Christopher Doyle is the Legobots' creator; more photos here.

Ladyada's Workshop in Lego

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Artist Bruce Lowell recreated Limor Fried's Adafruit workshop in Lego and submitted it to LEGO CUUSOO. I hope it gets the 10,000 votes needed for Lego to manufacture it as a set!

Ladyada's workshop is a place where you explore all the cool things you build and use when you're an engineer! Computers, pick-and-place machine, laser cutter, soldering station and more! In Ladyada's workshop you can run your own open-source hardware electronics company, complete with Mosfet the cat.

Ladyada's Workshop in Lego

Lego marijuana art show


The infamous art collective / brand, LA-GO has a show at Known Gallery in LA opening on May 26. It's called Legolize it, and features marijuana plants made from plastic hobby construction bricks.


Contemplating the urban design of Lego City


Alexandra Lange sends us her "Living in Lego City," from Print Magazine: "An essay that asks and answers the question: If you built all the Lego City sets, what kind of city would you get? The city you get is one founded on the stereotype of boy busyness, a place that makes 3-D the transportation, safety, and sports obsessions we assign to boys. There's no zoo but a Dino Defense HQ, no supermarket unless you go down an age group to Duplo, no cafe unless you enter the pink and purple world of Lego Friends. It isn't just the minifigs that gender the Lego world."

Flying into Lego City on a Passenger Plane, you can see the city laid out below you in a grid: squares of green, wide roads of gray, and a tidy coastline of blue squares. It’s early, but already the Tipper Truck is out fixing the potholes and the Garbage Truck is collecting trash and recycling. At the Harbor, the crane is unloading goods onto a truck on the dock, while next door at the Marina the lifeguard is ready to go on duty. A high-speed Passenger Train is just pulling into the Train Station. And over at the Space Center, John Glenn will be happy to see that there’s a Space Shuttle awaiting its next trip to the International Space Station.

Safety is a watchword in Lego City. The Mobile Police Unit is ready to be deployed at a moment’s notice, should the Police Helicopter spot any illegal activities. It is hard to believe that any thieves could cross into Lego City, knowing the Forest Police Station is fully operational. And if the police, with their own helicopter and Jeep and a built-in holding cell, don’t catch the criminals, the bear (included) will.

But where do Lego City’s residents sleep? Eat? Shop? The green blocks are strangely empty. On the edge of town, kids are carving up the hills with their dirt bikes, thanks to the Dirt Bike Transporter, but what happens if they get thirsty? The only houses nearby (available as part of the Architecture series) are for the 1 percent: the Farnsworth House (that blue square looks awfully close) and Fallingwater.

Downtown, on the gray squares, the skyscrapers crowd closely together: the Burj Khalifa, the Empire State Building, the Willis Tower (renamed, even here). There should be a place to sit and watch the crowds at Rockefeller Center, but the scale is too small for benches or the skating rink. Down at the Marina, at least, you can relax at the Paradise Café and admire the brand-new Sydney Opera House. Now that Lego City has an opera house and a museum (the Solomon R. Guggenheim), it qualifies as a world-class city—right?

Living in Lego City (Thanks, Alexandra!)

Comparing gender in Lego minifig heads


From the Boing Boing Flickr pool, Maia Weinstock's chart of gender in Lego minifig heads. There's an accompanying blog post, where Weinstock explains:

So many of LEGO’s sets today are made in conjunction with a movie or other Hollywood media brand. It’s a win-win for Hollywood producers and LEGO alike. But how many of those brands star girls or women in the lead role? Star Wars? Toy Story? Pirates of the Caribbean? The Lord of the Rings (available in LEGO this summer)? Hermione Grainger is a major character from the Harry Potter series, and there were a fair number of female minifigs incorporated with those sets, so I’ll give them that one. But still, in almost every franchise that LEGO has partnered with, females are secondary or sidekick characters at best. To be sure, this heavy male slant in children’s programming is a problem with Hollywood as a whole, not just with the famed brick-makers. (For an in-depth look at how girls and women are marginalized, sexualized, and stereotyped in family films, check out these studies by the Geena Davis Institute on Gender in Media.) And yet, LEGO could go a long way toward increasing its girl-friendly cred by creating sets and minifigs that mirror movies and shows featuring prominent leading ladies—like Avatar, Dora the Explorer, Spy Kids, and The Hunger Games.

See also: History of gendering in Lego.

LEGO minifig head breakdown by pixbymaia

Lego wigs


I love the Lego wigs used in this Elroy Klee campaign for Mindplay. They've got the perfect mix of impracticality and strikingness to qualify as gen-you-wine coo-choore.

Mindplay: bricks on me (via Geekologie)

(Photo: Niki Kits-Polman & Ebo Fraterman)

Recreating Super Mario Bros with Lego

Zachary Pollock is looking to raise $26,400 on Kickstarter to buy "a lot of [Lego] bricks" for use in a 780,000-piece re-creation of the entire first level of Super Mario Bros. Once completed, it will be exhibited in Portland and Seattle, with possible side-trips to PAX and SDCC.

In 2005, I rediscovered my passion for building big. I realized that as an adult I have much greater access to large supplies of LEGO bricks now than I ever did as a kid. Since then, my projects have hovered between 6,000 – 15,000 pieces. By recreating Level 1-1 of Super Mario Bros. in LEGO bricks, this project trumps all of my other work by leaping to almost 780,000 LEGO studs. No one that I am aware of has done a LEGO mosaic on this scale before. Only a small number of people have done work with this number of bricks. The final project will stand over six feet tall and over 90 feet wide.

Epic Mario (via Engadget)

Lego exoskeleton maker seeks your votes for official kit-status


Legoist Peter sez, "My most popular model, the Exo Suit, has been submitted to the LEGO CUUSOO website. I need 10,000 supporters for the chance to have it released as an official LEGO set. If you'd like to see this model made available to buy, please support my project on the CUUSOO site."

LEGO CUUSOO | Exo Suit (Thanks, Peter!)